View Full Version : 1858 NMA questions

November 12, 2009, 08:42 PM
I'm about to get an 1858 NMA, likely a 5 1/2" Pietta from Cabelas.

I'm wondering what tweaks I can do to make it more reliable. Should I replace the springs with something better? How resistant to jamming from spent caps are they? What are the best caps to get?

I'm also wondering if stainless is actually stronger than blued? Or just more resistant to corrosion?

Thanks for any help :)

November 13, 2009, 04:39 AM
You should get it and try it before you start planning modifications. Then if or when the flaws develop you can work on fixing and improving the gun.
Many folks recommend the Treso aftermarket nipples but many people don't have a need for them because the factory nipples work very well and the Remington #10's generally fit them perfectly, which can't always be said for the Tresos.
Springs can be changed but that may not be necessary either.
I would say only if your trigger is rough then that can be worked on, or if there's rubbing of the action parts. For example stoning the opening in the frame where the bolt comes through may rub, or fitting the bolt so that it fits into the cylinder slots better.
To be concerned about minor fitting issues without giving consideration to whether the pistol will shoot to point of aim or not always leads me to wonder why more folks don't consider the target model with adjustable sights. In that respect, the first modification that I would be concerned about is whether a dovetailed front sight needs to be added to the barrel or not to allow it to be drift adjustable for better accuracy.
I don't know which Italian steel is stronger or if that makes a difference. There may be different steels used for different parts of the same gun, and the steel hardness may even vary among different batches of guns. No one besides the maufacturer could be capable of testing various steel parts among so many batches of guns. So what if people suspected that some of the blued steel is stronger or that some of it is weaker? What would that mean when your pistol is being randomly picked off the shelf having all of its potential workmanship flaws while the one next to it or over on another shelf has less flaws or none? Don't worry about the steel. Get the steel that you like the most so that you won't be as unhappy about any of it's other flaws...or maybe you'd rather be more happy with it not being as flawed except only due to it being made from the inferior steel.... :rolleyes:

November 13, 2009, 12:37 PM
What arcticap said except the target model doesn't interest me at all.

November 13, 2009, 12:55 PM
Stainless steels are not necessarily stronger than carbon steels and we really don't know which grades of steels the manufacturers are using anyway. I am however, quite sure that either will be sufficiently strong as long as the gun is used as it is intended. Buy the one you like the best.

Doc Hoy
November 13, 2009, 12:55 PM
So here is my three cents (inflation) worth.

It has been my (limited) experience that the pistol is very reliable, accurate and shootable just as it is.

I like the stoning process that Articap described and the bolt to cylinder match is actually fun to fool with.

You might want to mess with the hammer spring adjustment too. Every one I ever had either new or used was too tight.


Doc Hoy
November 13, 2009, 12:58 PM
Some folks file on that spring. I haven't got that far yet.


November 13, 2009, 03:02 PM
The stock Pietta nipples tend to be too small for most caps. Get Treso nipples and use Remington 10 caps, and your reliability will go waaaay up!

November 14, 2009, 11:15 AM
The stock Pietta nipples tend to be too small for most caps.

Hasn't been that way for any of mine. I use CCI and they fit just fine. Remingtons are a lil snug, takes more pressure to fully seat them.

Doc Hoy
November 14, 2009, 11:51 AM

When I have a tough time seating a cap I just give it a tap with a little hammer. :eek:

Guys, Just in case my humor doesn't come through, I was kidding. I don't think it would be a good idea to seat your caps with a hammer and I really don't do it with mine.

November 14, 2009, 01:26 PM
Well doc some folks do use the pistol hammer to seat caps. Just lower it onto the cap and put some pressure on it to seat. If I can't seat them with my thumb I use a short piece of wood dowel. You can't set a cap off with steady pressure no matter what you use to seat it with. I've tried(with an empty chamber of course)can't be done no matter how much force you exert on it.

Doc Hoy
November 14, 2009, 03:30 PM

I use the end of the marker that I mark my targets with.

November 14, 2009, 03:36 PM
I'm wondering what tweaks I can do to make it more reliable. Should I replace the springs with something better? How resistant to jamming from spent caps are they? What are the best caps to get?

The 1858's are pretty reliable out of the box. Clean up the trigger, de-burr the hand and hand slot in the frame. Make sure the hammer is not rubbing on the frame, shim if necessary. Make sure the hammer nose is not hitting the nipples. Keep a spare hand spring and bolt spring on hand.

I'm also wondering if stainless is actually stronger than blued? Or just more resistant to corrosion?

The Italian manufactures refuse to say what alloys they are using so it's a guess at best. From my experience machining both Italian steel and stainless steel they are very similar. Sometimes the stainless feels softer. The stainless is more corrosion resistant, but there are plenty around in raw steel that hold up fine.

November 14, 2009, 09:59 PM
Have not installed them yet but Don at the Possibles Shop lead me to understand the Treso nipples for the 1858 and 1860 use #11 caps.

If i am wrong here oops as I don't think I even own any #10 caps and haven't seen any around my AO

November 15, 2009, 12:43 PM
Personally, all of my replica Remingtons have worked just fine OTB. The only issues I had with caps was when I was just getting started and tried using the #11 caps the manuals specified. Those I had to pinch slightly to get them to stay on the nipple at all, and many times a fired cap would fall off and tie-up the works. A switch to #10 caps eliminated those.

I like to put at least a couple of hundred rds through a new C&B revolver (or at least cycle the action an equal number of times) before I mess with stones or the like. IMO, giving the machine a chance to show you where it might actually benefit from polishing makes sense. YMMV.

I like the Uberti version just a bit better than the Pietta, mostly because of the dovetailed front sight. It's usually easier and less involved to get them regulated for POA/POI once I've established which load a particular revolver likes best.

Indian Outlaw
November 15, 2009, 09:39 PM
I want the new 5 1/2" brass Remington Cabelas is selling. It is too cute.


James K
November 16, 2009, 08:28 PM
Stainless? Carbon steel? Hey guys, this is black powder we are talking about. Either one is a whooole lot stronger than the wrought iron the originals were made from.


November 17, 2009, 11:42 AM
Jim's right about that. The heaviest charge of 4F you could pour into the chamber of a modern repro revolver and still manage to seat a ball would be highly unlikely to overtax the cylinder to the point of catastrophic failure. It wouldn't be a particularly bright thing to do, and wouldn't do the machine any good, but either material is more-than-strong-enough to contain the pressure.

November 24, 2009, 02:34 PM
Here's a pic of my new Remington, a Pietta from Cabelas, and a target that I shot at 50 yards. Loads were a .454 Hornady round ball over a Pyrodex-P charge equivalent to 25 grains of black, with Remington #11 caps:


This target was shot last Saturday, the first time that I ever shot this revolver. The 5 shots on this target are from the third cylinder-full ever shot. The first 6 were shot using a 6:00 hold, and I noticed that they were hitting near the bottom of the target. The second cylinder-full were shot using a center hold, and confirmed that the revolver was hitting to point of aim. I then put up a new target and fired the shots shown. There are only 5 shots on target because I pulled one due to a guy at an adjacent position firing a high-power hunting rifle just as I broke my shot, and I flinched. There's also a .22 hole where it appears someone cross-fired on my target.

Anyway, for a brand-new out of the box revolver at 50 yards, I think it did good. In other words, these things can shoot fine.

November 24, 2009, 09:41 PM
That's a fine looking piece!! Mine seems to shoot the first couple cylinders better than the 3 and 4th cylinder... I just bore snake it out and the accuracy returns to Awsome. 60 yrds off hand and she will keep all 6 on a 5x7 paperback book...(well usually 4 or 5 cause I get excited and pull more often then not.:rolleyes::D)

The one I got has the checkered grips... it shoots better than I could have imagined. I have had a lot of C&B's and this one is nothing short of phenominal..

The triger is light but had a Lot of creep. I filed the hammer/sear notch off as far as I could and still have clearance from the halfcock and now she is just about perfect... I still have a litte creep but I like it that way.

Very deadly on deer too... .457 Handcast RB and 30gr. by volume 4ffff and #11 caps... the 10's won't fit so I just sqeeze the 11's and seat hard with the hammer.

If I mentioned how far away this deer was this thread would immediatly change to a Bashing session at my expence...so let's just say that they are very lethal even at an extended distance.


November 27, 2009, 01:27 PM
Obviously you can do as you wish but I don't like the idea of shooting FFFFg in a revolver. FFFFg is a superfine priming powder and not intended to be used as a main charge. Could produce some scary pressures.

November 27, 2009, 08:41 PM
I have found that 4ffff does not produce pressure as high as Pyrodex P.. I really like the 4ffff because it seems to fire fast(Lock time).. and a little hotter than 3ff.. it burns quite a bit cleaner too.

I just can't get hunting velocity where I want it with 3fff. With the 4f I get good velocity around 875-925 fps. with 3ff I get 750fps and with Pyrodex I run right at 1000fps.. all with 30-35gr. volume loads.... FWIW a full cylinder of Pyrodex will run over 1200fps, but this load will destroy a Remington very quickly and is not accrurate.

4f is hotter than 3ff but not as hot as Pyro "P" so I think it is easier on my gun. That and I really prefyur to shoot real BP...

This is not something I just did because I didn't know better... I have been shooting C&B's for over 22 years and shoot them a LOT not just a couple times a year..

I actually use a C&B 44 as my primary hunting weapon on many of my hunting trips. At archery ranges, the ball will give complete pass throughs on whitetails and the accruacy of the Rem 58 make the shots placement precise and The FUN METER is very hard to beat... sure I have to pass on a lot of good opportunitees but when it all comes together :D...Now that's Hunting!

November 30, 2009, 03:03 PM
To the Robert that emailed me... my reply was returned to my in-box as a "Failure-to-Deliver"..??? I am not sure why but if you PM me here I will post info I was sharing in the email that was returned..